Despite the abundance of highly sustainable bamboo, people tend to overlook its structural performance for construction purposes. This paper therefore explores the potential of bamboo architecture to develop light-weight building systems and also to create an effect of lightness. Developed by a team at the School of Architecture of Southeast University, Bamboo Canopy is an outdoor stage canopy in Anji, China, that pushes the boundaries of bamboo as a material for building woven gridshell structure. The work is designed as a long-lifespan bamboo structure, with the design team and locals participating in its construction. Positioned on a public stage, Bamboo Canopy experiments with the combination of sustainable construction and local craftsmanship to produce a highly engaging architectural intervention that activates the existing place. With its wing-like form, it invites visitors to join the performance scene—as they approach the shell, the structure reveals itself—with a 12.4-metre span and 6-metre roof overhang, the canopy covers more than 150 square metres with only 1.2 square metres touching the ground. Through analysing the form, structure and details of this experimental project, this paper clarifies not only the potentiality but also the feasibilities in using bamboo for light construction.

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